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Top SAP stories of 2007, Part 1

As 2007 comes to a close, looks back at the Top 10 SAP stories of the year, including Duet's momentum and the battle for BI.

The past 12 months were yet another eventful time for SAP, its customers and SAP professionals. From product releases and upgrades, to lawsuits, acquisitions and resignations, SAP kept industry watchers on their toes.

This two-part series examines's Top 10 SAP stories from 2007. Part 1 looks at SAP's tuck-in acquisitions, Duet's momentum, NetWeaver upgrades, SAP's business process management push, and the battle for the business intelligence (BI) market. Part 2 will identify the Top 5.

10. SAP continues to "tuck in"

This was a big year for acquisitions by SAP and its competitors. While some of the bigger deals, such as SAP's Business Objects buy and Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion, got more press, SAP also continued its tuck-in strategy of small acquisitions to fill holes in its product functionality. Among this year's targets were Outlooksoft, Maxware, Wicom, Pilot Software and Yasu Technologies.

More tuck-in stories from 2007:

SAP tames 'spider webs on LSD' for public broadcaster: Northern California Public Broadcasting had no visibility into budget and fundraising trends until it implemented SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, formerly Outlooksoft.

Is SAP-Yasu the start of business rules management consolidation?: Business rules management products have improved greatly in the past five years and demand is growing, leading some analysts to speculate that market consolidation is coming.

9. Duet moves forward

News about Duet continued to leak out in 2007. SAP and Microsoft announced a product roadmap at Sapphire, generating buzz among attendees. Duet is becoming a hot topic among SAP job seekers, but some wonder what Microsoft's push into ERP will mean for the product's future.

More Duet stories from 2007:

SAP snags big win over Oracle, thanks to Duet, TCO: SAP beat out Oracle to replace BNSF Railroad's legacy system, thanks to pricing, TCO issues and Duet.

ASUG's incoming chief discusses Duet, SAP ERP upgrades and his role: Steve Strout, ASUG's future president, offers advice from his company's SAP ERP 2005 upgrade, discusses the Duet roadmap and appliance, and provides an update on ASUG news.

8. The battle for business intelligence

At the beginning of the year, the business intelligence (BI) market featured many players. As the year comes to a close, Oracle acquired Hyperion and IBM scooped up Cognos.

When Oracle made the move for Hyperion, many wondered what it would mean for SAP customers and how SAP would respond. The answer became obvious with SAP's Business Objects buy, which will appear in Part 2 of the countdown.

More BI stories from 2007, from the blog:

Oracle's Hyperion deal: challenges, opportunities and expert predictions: Not surprisingly, the Web has been abuzz with speculation and opinions since Oracle announced its intention to purchase BI firm Hyperion two weeks ago. The bulk of bloggers and writers seem to argue that SAP needs to up the ante and make a big acquisition of its own.

Oracle buys Hyperion, SAP on the ropes?: Oracle's shopping spree is not over, as became apparent with today's announcement that it is acquiring business intelligence giant Hyperion. Oracle president Charles Phillips made no secret about targeting SAP.

7. NetWeaver upgrades trudge on

NetWeaver turned 10 early this year and NetWeaver upgrades continue to be a hot topic among users. Research from the Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) showed that 60% of SAP customers were planning on making NetWeaver their "strategic platform" in 2008 and NetWeaver expertise is increasingly in demand.

More NetWeaver upgrade stories from 2007:

Sapphire 2007: The state of NetWeaver: NetWeaver continues to be a point of emphasis for SAP. Sapphire attendees have mixed thoughts on the obstacles and benefits of NetWeaver upgrades.

Demystifying SOA in SAP NetWeaver: Upgrades are a fact of life in enterprise IT, but the benefits of SOA make a convincing case for NetWeaver adoption.

MySAP ERP upgrade advice with ASUG's Matt Rickard: According to SAP, Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) and others, this year will see an increase in the number of customers upgrading to mySAP ERP. In this podcast, Matt Rickard, ASUG's director of groups and chapters and a member of its board, discusses some common upgrade questions. Rickard talks about technical versus functional upgrades, common problems, and resources users can turn to, among other things.

6. Process focus

SAP started its BPX (business process expert) community in late 2006, and it now counts more than 200,000 members. While the company has had some customer successes, earlier this year Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. said SAP is no longer a leader in integration-centric business process management (BPM), an opinion not held by all experts.

More BPM stories from 2007:

BPM -- Gartner, IDS Scheer outline critical success factors: Leadership and corporate culture are just a few of the things companies need to succeed with BPM, according to a Gartner analyst at IDS Scheer's ProcessWorld.

BPM expert Andre Truong speaks out: Q&A: SAP's BPM push has been well documented; Andre Truong answers some burning BPM questions for SAP users.

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